Wow, he did it again!
Deputy Inspector John Argenziano, the commanding officer of Park Slope’s 78th Precinct, proved once more his “cop eyes” haven’t dulled from all his years as an NYPD administrator on June 14 when he spotted and helped arrest a man for stealing a navigation system from a parked van.
Yet don’t expect this arrest to pop up on the 78th Precinct police blotter. Much like his April 21 robbery collar near the corner of Fourth Avenue and Nevins Street, the car thief take down took place outside the 78th Precinct’s borders in nearby Kensington.
“The inspector always keeps his eyes open,” said Lt. Michael Fargo, who arrested the 45-year-old career criminal with Argenziano. “He’s been a commanding officer for a lot of years and he can still pick [criminals] out.”
As Fargo tells it, he and Argenziano had just finished driving through Prospect Park in an unmarked patrol car at 10:30 am when they exited by Park Circle and ended up on Caton Avenue.
There, near E. Fourth Street, was the 45-year-old suspect, jiggling several car door handles, checking to see if any had been left unlocked.
“The inspector made the observation,” Fargo said. “He said, ‘Look at this guy!’ ”
That’s exactly what they did. They observed the would-be thief for four blocks — all the way to the Burger King on Fort Hamilton Parkway, where he stopped in to grab a bite.
It took him nearly 15 minutes to order his food and exit, but the two officers never lost sight of him, knowing he was eventually going to commit a crime.
The thief didn’t disappoint: As soon as he exited the Burger King, he tried the handle of a van in the parking lot, opened the door and was about to make off with a navigation system when Fargo ran up and arrested him.
Prosecutors said the thief has a criminal history stretching back to 1986. He’s already pleaded guilty to the theft and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, according to a spokesman for Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes.
For his part, Argenziano, who recently celebrated his third year as the 78th Precinct’s commanding officer, refrained from commenting on the arrest, giving Fargo most of the credit.
“We spend a lot of time on patrol,” Argenziano noted.